Advancing patient-centered cancer care in resource-limited communities
According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 6 people die from cancer globally, with cancer-related mortality outnumbering deaths from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined.1 In resource-limited settings, health care is often fragmented, which can prevent individuals from obtaining a timely cancer diagnosis and receiving high-quality cancer care.
While there have been notable advances in cancer treatment over the past decade, many patients around the world still do not receive timely, coordinated care. Patient navigation is an effective way to help cancer patients overcome the many challenges that may affect their care by providing them with individualized assistance. A successful patient navigation program helps ensure timely diagnosis and treatment, increases rates of treatment completion, and improves patients’ overall quality of life.
Expanding patient navigation around the world
Through a nearly $2 million grant over five years (2019-2023), the Merck Foundation is helping the American Cancer Society (ACS) bring its expertise in patient navigation to resource-limited settings in sub-Saharan Africa as well as develop a toolkit to help low- and middle-income countries adopt navigation programs as part of delivering comprehensive cancer care. Patient navigation holds great potential to help ensure cancer patients in resource-limited settings have access to the care and support they need.
1 World Health Organization, Cancer Fact Sheet, 2018. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer